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I usually work with images for the web or pitch decks so printing images, especially large images, is kind of new to me.

My company wants a banner printed that is going to be 24" X 63", and I created a document and designed it at that size since that seemed logical.

My product manager now wants the image resized for printing at 5.875" X 15.75" at 300 dpi and in JPG format. This seems weird to me. Won't the image come out blurry when it is printed from the smaller image size to a larger print?

I have been doing some research about this and I know there is a difference between ppi and dpi but the only thing I can alter when changing image size in Photoshop is ppi. Currently, the file size is 24" X 63" with a resolution of 300 ppi.

This is going to be expensive to print so I want to make sure the file is set up right before sending it over.

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First of all, your product manager asked for it. If you have concerns with it, ask if he/she can clarify.

Second, "yes" blowing things up reduces quality either by being pixelated (stretching the image) or by becoming blurry (resampling the image).

However, large format printing is predicated on viewing at a distance and is usually printed at something less than 300dpi. I am guessing that the banner will be printed at around 75 dpi, since your manager is asking for something 1/4 size @ 300dpi, which at 4x size would be 1/4 the specified dpi.

DPI is a flag in the file and is not the image data, so ignore it. 5.875 x 15.5 @ 300 dpi simply means that you must provide an image that is 1763 pixels x 4725 pixels. Take each physical-world dimension and multiply that by 300.

  • Thanks, that was very helpful. My product manager is kind of new, so I thought I would help her out by finding some more information about the printing specifications. The pixel size is right so it seems like everything should be okay. – M. H. Oct 27 '15 at 18:40
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Large format files commonly range from 72dpi - 150dpi. Hence the request by your production manager. You can work in pixels but in the world of print, it's not about pixels, although technically you can speak both. As long as you understand both it really doesn't matter but now a days, people designing strictly for web and lack the traditional print skill set. Printers speak in terms of DPI (despite being a flag) so you should learn it if you are going to produce anything in that world. It can only add to your skill set.

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